A Francesco Pisano own goal
and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 11th strike of the season gave AC Milan
a 2-0 win at Cagliari on Tuesday that put them a point clear of
Juventus at the top of Serie A in their last game before the
Cagliari defender Pisano sliced a Robinho cross into his own
net under pressure from Antonio Nocerino after four minutes to
put the Rossoneri ahead in a first half the Sardinians went on
Champions Milan put on a better performance after the break
with Ibrahimovic doubling their lead on the hour after combining
with Robinho as mid-table Cagliari's challenge faded.
Milan, unbeaten in 11 games, move to 34 points after 16
games, ahead of Juve and three points clear of Udinese before
the pair meeting in Udine on Wednesday.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said his team had to show
heart to end the year on a winning note.
"The second half was better than the first, but it's
important to get three points to end the year with. We'll see
what happens now in tomorrow's games," he told Italy's Sky Sport
Allegri, who once again opted to play Robinho in attack
despite pre-match comments from club owner Silvio Berlusconi
praising Pato, said he was happy with his selection.
"There's no problem with the president," he said. "He can
talk as he likes. I try to do things for the good of Milan."
The home side almost grabbed the lead with their first
attack when Brazilian forward Thiago Ribeiro collected a cross
from the returning Andrea Cossu and fizzed a low drive against
the upright from a tight angle on the right side of the box.
Two minutes later, Cagliari fell behind when Robinho,
running on to a disguised pass from Ibrahimovic, skipped around
the mistimed charge of goalkeeper Michael Agazzi and saw his
cross bundled over the line by Pisano under the challenge of
Christian Abbiati, back in place of Marco Amelia in the
Milan goal, produced a flying save from an Albin Ekdal
piledriver on 14 minutes before Argentine striker Joaquin
Larrivey flashed a header wide as Cagliari pressed before the
Robinho should have doubled Milan's advantage on 58 minutes
but after picking up Ibrahimovic's astute pass and skipping past
Agazzi, the Brazilian blasted the ball over the bar from a tight
Two minutes later, the two combined to stunning effect as
Ibrahimovic played a one-two with Robinho and used his
1.95-metre frame to toe-poke the ball ahead of Agazzi's lunging
dive and into the bottom corner.
Siena and Fiorentina battled to a goalless draw in a
lacklustre Tuscan derby as the sides' ended the year languishing
in the lower half of Serie A.
Striker Emanuele Calaio came closest to scoring for Siena,
meeting Franco Brienza's left-wing cross with a brave header
that came crashing back off the bar on 28 minutes.
Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic had the best chance for
the away side, forcing Serbian goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic into a
brilliant flying save to keep out a sharp turn and shot on the
stroke of half-time.
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